BFI's 100 Documentary Films's comments

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Comments 1 - 8 of 8

vanquine's avatar


There's other fictional stuff here (e.g. David Holzman's Diary and the bulk of Menschen am Sonntag), as well as movies that purport to document (in some strange way) reality, but that are composed primarily of recreations/imaginings of events--say, A British Picture and The War Game.

I suspect the fictional or fictionalish stuff gets in because they're drawing some kind of form/content distinction. A documentary can be defined by its content: it's a movie documenting reality, showing us the truth, depicting what actually happened, or some such thing. Or a documentary can be defined by its formal characteristics: it's a movie that looks like, is arranged like, tells a story like, etc. a documentary typically does. If you go with the latter definition, mockumentaries and other fictional stuff can be documentaries--just so long as they look just like a documentary. They sure seem to be documenting something; it just so happens that it's all made up.
7 years 9 months ago
Sobchak's avatar


This is Spinal Tap?
8 years 3 months ago
beeswax's avatar


It's a bit odd that they have a mockumentary on the list. (Jackson's Forgotten Silver.) But it's good to have a start toward decent doc lists on the iCM site.
8 years 6 months ago
Timec's avatar


Yeah, I was confused about that myself. But that really is listed in the book.
8 years 3 months ago
MovieDearest's avatar


A bug has "Divide and Conquer" on iCM twice, but this is the correct entry:
8 years 5 months ago
Timec's avatar


The source lists a "Lumiere programme" from 1895 - Wikipedia says that their first ten films were often shown together, so I've included those ten. All of them are very short, and all are readily available on the internet.
8 years 6 months ago
Nuked's avatar


I would consider Bowling for Columbine a mockumentary as well. At least it does make a mockery of any decency that thruthful documentaries have had in the past. It's a damn shame, too, because I agree with him in principle, but his methods are just as despicable as his opponents' methods (if not more).
7 years 10 months ago
george4mon's avatar


not the best documentary list in the world. I would have preferred the Oscar winning list instead.
7 years 1 month ago
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